The Center for Cardiovascular Research sponsors and hosts a wide range of activities to enhance translational cardiovascular science on the UIC Medical campus.


2014 CCVR Day Young Investigator Award Finalists Announced

Special congratulations to the three finalists for the CCVR Young Investigator Award:

Li Wang: Activation of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) reduces nuclear protein kinase A (PKA) signaling and attenuates cardiac myocyte hypertrophy.

Mariam Noor: Reduction in microRNA-208 gene dosage induces obesity and adversely affects mitochondrial gene expression in response to high fat dietary intake.

Joe Goldenberg: ACS and gender modulate myocardial transport kinetics of exogenous long-chain fatty acid and intracellular lipid handling.

The three finalists for the CCVR Young Investigator Award were selected from abstracts submitted for the CCVR Research Day event on August 15, 2014. The finalists who were selected by a panel of senior CCVR faculty will present brief oral presentations of their work immediately following the Herman Gunnar Lecture on August 15, 2014. The Young Investigator Award Recipient will receive a cash prize of $250 and each runner up will receive $150 (plus one of the ever popular UIC CCVR coffee mugs!).

Please join us on Friday August 15, 2014 at 11:30 am for the CCVR Young Investigator Competition oral presentations in the Moss Auditorium in COMRB. Poster presentation awards will be selected later in the day for each of the categories of Medical Student, Graduate Student, and Postdoctoral Fellow.

2014 CCVR Research Day

Please plan to join us for the 2014 Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) research day to be held in the College of Medicine Research Building (COMRB) on Friday, August 15, 2014 at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. For more details, please download the attached preliminary program.

The 2014 CCVR Research Day is a wonderful opportunity to view and discuss the latest findings in cardiovascular science with UIC students, fellows, and faculty. From abstract submissions, finalists will be selected for oral presentations for the Young Investigator Award Competition. Research poster awards will be available for eligible trainees in CCVR laboratories who submit and present abstracts. Both poster and oral presentation will be selected from submitted abstracts. Click Here for information on submission and presentation of abstracts and award information.

CME credits are available to attendees of the key lecture, presented this year by CCVR faculty member Brenda Russell, PhD, and the Herman P. Gunnar Lecture, presented by Nadia Rosenthal, PhD, Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University and Scientific Head, EMBL Australia, Melbourne, Australia.

We are very pleased to announce that the 2014 Herman P. Gunnar Lecturer will be Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University, Melbourne Australia. Dr. Rosenthal will discuss "Immune Regulation of Regeneration".

Professor Rosenthal's research at ARMI focuses on the developmental genetics of heart and skeletal muscle, the molecular biology of ageing and the role of growth factors, stem cells and the immune system in tissue regeneration. She is an EMBO member, and recipient of the Ferrari-Soave Prize in Cell Biology and Doctors Honoris Causa from the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and University of Amsterdam. She also holds a Chair in Cardiovascular Science at Imperial College London She has served on numerous international grant review committees, advisory panels and has coordinated several major EU consortia on mouse genetics and disease models. She is a Founding Editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms and Editor-in-Chief of Differentiation.

We look forward to seeing you on August 15, 2014. Please extend this invitation to your colleagues and interested members of the community.


CCVR Student Registration and Travel Award Competition for the 2014 International Society for Heart Research Scientific Sessions

The Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) is sponsoring a travel award competition for students in CCVR laboratories to present their original research work at the upcoming 2014 International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) Scientific Sessions in Miami, FL, May 12 -15, 2014.

Two students/trainees will be selected for the awards that will cover trainee early registration costs ($375 by April 15) for the meeting plus an additional $500 to offset travel expenses. Priority will be given to PhD and MD students who have abstracts selected for oral presentation and students and postdoctoral trainees who are finalists for the ISHR Young Investigator Award Competition, and then students who are presenting abstracts in poster format. To be eligible, please submit a copy of your ACCEPTED abstract or YIA manuscript following notification from the ISHR along with a copy of your curriculum vitae to Dr. J. Michael O'Donnell, email: odonnell@uic.edu

Details for submitting materials is forwarded below in the email announcement from the ISHR. For additional details go to: http://www.ishrworld.org/event/NAS2014# Abstract submission to the ISHR is now open and the deadline is March 15, 2014. The deadline for submitting materials for the YIA competition is March 1, 2014.


2013 CCVR Research Presentation Award Recipients

The 2013 CCVR research awards recipients for trainee poster presentations and the 2013 CCVR Young Investigator Award from oral presentations were determined by the CCVR faculty and our Herman P. Gunnar Lecturer, Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., Director and Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Past President of the American Heart Association.

Research Poster Presentation Awards:

  • Medical Student Poster:
    Anthony Lucero, B.S.
    Pak1 down-regulation contributes to atrial fibrillation induced remodeling
    Faculty Supervisor: Kathrin Banach, Ph.D.
  • Graduate Student Poster:
    Alvin Lin, B.S.
    Increased stiffness alters contractile filament assembly in myocytes by increasing the exchange dynamics of capping of actin by CapZ.
    Faculty Supervisor: Brenda Russell, Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Poster:
    Andrew Carley, Ph.D.
    Expression of Slow Skeletal TnI in the Adult Heart Augments the Metabolic Response to Pressure Overload and Reduces Decompensatory Cardiac Hypertrophy and Contractile Dysfunction.
    Faculty Supervisor: Doug Lewandowski, Ph.D.

CCVR Young Investigator Awards:

Three finalists, selected by CCVR faculty from among abstract submissions, presented oral presentations in competiton for the 2013 CCVR Young Investigator Award. The awardees are:

  • The 2013 CCVR Young Investigator Award Recipient:
    Ryan Lahey, B.S.
    Lipid dynamics in decompensated hearts are influenced by chain composition of major dietary fats and linked to nuclear signaling through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha.
    Faculty Supervisor: Doug Lewandowski, Ph.D.
  • Yia Finalists:
    • Sudhahar Varadarajan, Ph.D.
      Novel Role of Copper Transporter ATP7A in VEGF Signaling and Post-Ischemic Neovascularization
      Faculty Supervisor: Tohru Fukai, Ph.D.
    • Chongxu Zhang, Ph.D.
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and decrease muscle RING finger protein 1 (MuRF1) expression in chronic pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy.
      Faculty Supervisor: Lei Xiao, M.D., Ph.D.


    2013 CCVR Research Day

    Please plan to join us for the 2013 Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) research day to be held in the College of Medicine Research Building (COMRB) on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. For more details, please download the attached preliminary program.

    The 2013 CCVR Research Day is a wonderful opportunity to view and discuss the latest findings in cardiovascular science with UIC students, fellows, and faculty. Research award prizes will be available for eligible trainees in CCVR laboratories who submit and present abstracts. Both poster and oral presentation will be selected from submitted abstracts. Click Here for information on submission and presentation of abstracts and award information.

    CME credits are available to attendees of the key lecture, presented this year by CCVR faculty member Jason Yuan, MD, PhD, and the Herman P. Gunnar Lecture, presented by Gordon Tomaselli, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    We are very pleased to announce that the 2013 Herman P. Gunnar Lecturer will be Gordon F. Tomasellli, M.D., Michel Mirowski Professor of Cardiology and Chief, Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Tomaselli will discuss "Electrical Remodeling of the Failing Heart: Implications for SCD Risk".

    Dr. Tomaselli's clinical interests and expertise include cardiac acquired and inherited cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and heritable diseases of cardiac rhythm such as long QT syndrome. His research is focused on the fundamental basis of excitability in the heart and his laboratory studies this problem at multiple levels of integration from molecules and cells to abnormalities of heart rhythm in patients. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978, he then received his M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, was a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF before coming to Johns Hopkins to do a fellowship in Cardiology. He is a clinical electrophysiologist and laboratory investigator. Dr. Tomaselli is the Michel Mirowski MD Professor of Cardiology and Chief of the division of Cardiology. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals and is a Consulting Editor of Circulation Research, the leading journal in basic cardiovascular science. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Heart Rhythm Society and is a past president of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society. He is also the chairman of the American Heart Association's 2010-2013 strategic planning task force, a former program chair of the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, is a member of the board of directors of the National AHA, and is past president of the National AHA (president year 2011-2012).

    We look forward to seeing you on September 10, 2013.  Please extend this invitation to your colleagues and interested members of the community.


    2013 CCVR Young Investigator Finalists

    Congratulations to the three finalists for the CCVR Young Investigator Awards. The following finalists were selected from submitted astracts by a panel of CCVR faculty and will present their work as oral abstract presentations during the CCVR research day activities on Tuesday September 10, 2013:

    Dr. Chongxu Zhang
    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulate 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and decrease muscle RING finger protein 1 (MuRF1) expression in chronic pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

    Dr. Sudhahar Varadarajan
    Novel Role of Copper Transporter ATP7A in VEGF Signaling and Post-Ischemic Neovascularization.

    Ryan Lahey, BS
    Lipid dynamics in decompensated hearts are influenced by chain composition of major dietary fats and linked to nuclear signaling through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha.


    CCVR Faculty Awarded NIH Instrumentation Grant

    A joint effort by UIC CCVR Faculty across multiple departments has successfully landed a one half million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art, high-resolution ultra-sound biomicroscopy device. The new imaging equipment will support ongoing, active NIH funded grants held by CCVR faculty studying animal models of cardiovascular disease and will enable detailed in vivo monitoring of global and precise regional cardiac function and blood flow and peripheral circulation. The equipment will be housed and maintained within the CCVR Core facility.


    Center for Cardiovascular Research receives $2 million NIH grant to study gender differences in cardiac lipids and heart failure.

    Dr. E. Douglas Lewandowski, CCVR Director, Director of the CCVR Program in Integrative Cardiac Metabolism, and Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the UIC College of Medicine, was awarded a $2 million, 4 year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH to study the role of gender in determining the cardiac metabolic response to chronic pressure overload through differences in intracellular lipid dynamics. Collaborators on the grant include Dr. R. John Solaro, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Program Director for Sarcomere Proteomics and Cardiac Dynamics in the CCVR and Dr. Thomas Royston, Professor and Chairman of the Bioengineering Department.


    2012 CCVR Research Day

    Please plan to join us for the 2012 Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) research day to be held in the College of Medicine Research Building (COMRB) on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. For more details, please download the attached preliminary program.

    The 2012 CCVR Research Day is a wonderful opportunity to view and discuss the latest findings in cardiovascular science with UIC students, fellows, and faculty. As before, research award prizes will be available for eligible trainees in CCVR laboratories who present abstracts. Both poster and oral presentation will be selected from submitted abstracts.

    CME credits will also now be available to attendees of the key lecture and the Herman P. Gunnar Lecture.

    We are pleased to announce that the 2012 Herman P. Gunnar Lecturer will be Joseph Loscalzo, M.D., Ph.D., Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Chairman, Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Dr. Loscalzo will discuss "Oxidant Signaling, Oxidant Stress, and Oxidant Injury in the Vasculature".

    We look forward to seeing you on August 7, 2012.  Please extend this invitation to your colleagues and interested members of the community.


    CCVR Graduate Education News: Interdepartmental Ph.D. Concentration in Cardiovascular Science

    The CCVR has received University approval for an Interdepartmental Ph.D. Concentration in Cardiovascular Science. Beginning Fall Semester 2012, this degree concentration for the Ph.D. will become available in the participating graduate programs of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. We anticipate the inclusion of additional departmental graduate programs within the College of Medicine over the coming year.

    Details of the curriculum requirements for this Ph.D. concentration will be posted soon, and will include a choice of cardiovascular related elective courses.

    Approval has also been given to several new graduate courses in support of the degree concentration in cardiovascular science. These courses include Cardiovascular Pathophysiology, Experimental and Diagnostic Methods in Cardiovascular Science, and a Seminar Course in Cardiovascular Science. CCVR faculty from multiple departments in the College of Medicine, both basic and clinical, will participate as lecturers for the new course offerings.


    CCVR Research Day, August 12, 2011 - Save the Date

    Please plan to join us for the 2011 Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) research day on Friday, August 12, 2011. Download the program for more details here.

    This event celebrates both the recent certification of the CCVR as a permanent Center within The University of Illinois and State University System and the cutting edge research performed by CCVR faculty and investigators. Events will include research awards for original presentations by medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.

    Jointly sponsored by the CCVR and the offices of the Vice Chancellor of Research and the Dean of the College of Medicine, the 2011 CCVR Research Day is a wonderful opportunity to view and discuss the latest findings in cardiovascular science with UIC students, fellows, and faculty.

    With the added support of the Herman P. Gunnar Lectureship Series, we are pleased to announce an esteemed College of Medicine alumnus as our guest speaker, Dr. Daniel P. Kelly (M.D., UIC, '82), Scientific Director, Sanford - Burnham Research Institute.

    We look forward to seeing you on August 12, 2011.  Please extend this invitation to your colleagues and interested members of the community.


    Illinois Medicine

    Recent article about the CCVR (Summer 2011):
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    CCVR Receives Final Approval for Permanent Center Status

    On April 12, 2011, the CCVR received certification for permanent status as an Academic Center within the state university system by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

    On November 18, 2010, the Board of Trustee of the University of Illinois approved permanent status for the Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCVR) as a recognized center within the university.  

    These actions enables us to move forward in advancing our mission of elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of heart disease for the development of therapeutic and preventative protocols, and to train the next generation of scientists and clinicians to work toward the common goal of relieving the tremendous burden that cardiovascular disease places on our society.

    How fitting that this recognition by the Board of Trustees was achieved during the same week in which the American Heart Association held the 2010 AHA Scientific Sessions in Chicago, and where 20 presentations by CCVR members and affiliates revealed their latest findings in cardiovascular research. 

    This recognition from the University, Trustees, and State Board of Higher Eduction is testimony to the outstanding accomplishments of CCVR investigators across academic departments within the College of Medicine. Indeed, the breadth and scope of research by CCVR investigators that is supported by the National Institutes of Health, including Fellowships, Training Grants, Investigator Initiated Grants, MERIT Awards and Program Projects, offers an active portfolio of basic and clinical investigation at UIC that continues to grow.


    CCVR Scientists Receive $12 Million Grant for Research to Resolve Heart Failure.

    UIC researchers were awarded more than $12 million by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the acquired and familial causes of heart failure – with the aim of identifying markers for diagnosis and targets for cures. More than 5.5 million Americans suffer from heart failure and 670,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to the American Heart Association.

    Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death, disability and hospitalization in the western world. It occurs when the heart cannot pump effectively and can't meet the body's need for blood and oxygen. The five years of new funding supports ongoing research led by Dr. R. John Solaro, Distinguished University Professor and Head of Physiology and Biophysics. Other UIC Principal Investigators on the grant are Dr. Brenda Russell, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, and Dr. E. Douglas Lewandowski, DIrector of the Center for Cardiovascular Research and Professor of Physiology and Biophysics.

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